Review: Coagulant – Anamorphoses (self-released, Oct 9)

I sat down to listen to Anamorphoses for the first time without any idea of what to expect, and ended up emerging from a trance-like state partway through the third section and realizing how utterly enraptured I’d been. I know next to nothing about this London-based project, but whoever’s behind it has graciously provided an abstract for the release that introduces even more fascination. The arcane explanations of “auditive projection broadcasting, elaborated through perspective spatial experimentation of infinite harmonics elements” is difficult to grasp at first, mostly because I’m unsure of the context of the work—whether it’s a pre-programmed installation, a performance, or some combination of both—but one thing I can wrap my head around are the vivid descriptions of the music itself: “A mechanical echo wraps the glittering metallic fabric in a spectral soundscape. Underground transmissions that bounce in the ether and asymmetrical pulsations from long tunnels are like a message from an unknown world.” These touch on the aspects of Anamorphoses I am most drawn to: the contrasts between spacious, reverb-filled expanses and more closely captured tangible elements; the richly subterranean atmosphere evoked throughout (especially by the recognizably tunnel-like sounds, such as the echo-y air currents and distant voices in part two or the whooshing train recordings in part three); and the presence of “glittering” light that never seems to fade even in the release’s most nocturnal stretches. Though the length of Anamorphoses may be intimidating at first, but it is truly one of the most immersive things I’ve heard recently, and I can assure you that you’ll be left wondering where the hell all that time went once it’s over.

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